MZUNI VC clings to office

…. Council, staff want Prof. Saka to go

A war between academic dons and their leader is underway at the Mzuzu University as the University Council and Staff want to get rid of their Vice Chancellor Professor John Kalenga Saka who is fighting to stay on, despite reaching 67 years of age.

The Vice Chancellor is said to have gone to court to force the University Council to remove its advert which he calls “discriminatory.” His contract expires June 2023.

The Investigator Magazine failed to get hold of the University Registrar Yonamu Ngwira whose tenure is also about to end and the staff want him gone as Saka is mulling legal options accusing the University Council of advertising his job with conditions that would exclude him.

Professor Saka who worked years at the University of Malawi before being appointed Vice Chancellor of the Mzuzu based public university, is crying unfair treatment and unfair labour practices, staff claim he is an architect of the same.

“He accuses Mzuni of discrimination especially on how the advert was framed. He had forgotten one thing; he changed the job specification for Director of Quality Assurance and Enhancement to eliminate the holder of the position. In the advert that they floated, they said the person should have worked as a dean. Yet the person who was holding the position is a Quality Assurance expert with PhD in Quality Assurance,” charges the other side of the matter.

They charge that Saka changed the job specification for Director of Open Distance Learning to eliminate the incumbent who was holding the position and the same for University Internal Auditor, Project and Estates Manager and for the post of Director ICT.

The staff raised a number of issues and it is said the University Council instituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the issues that were cited in an anonymous document.

Among the issues the staff claim the council found it illegal establishment of appointment & Remuneration Committee and this is contrary to the provision of statute XXIII, favouritism in renewal of contracts, Advertising to recruit a Procurement & Asset Disposal Manager and yet there is someone holding the position and delays to pay gratuity.

Staff claim warning letters were issued to the Vice Chancellor and Registrar Yonamu Ngwira. The two did not respond to our questions.

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